Skateworld (Tenant Activity Building)
The 1940 Latham Act that funded the building of Linda Vista housing did not provide for community, school, or commercial facilities. A 1941 amendment creating public works grants and 1942 guidelines for development finally led to Linda Vista’s first recreational and civic facility, the multi-use Tenant Activity Building. Work began in August 1943, was completed within 90 days, and was dedicated on December 26, 1943. The dedication included a week-long celebration including a riveters’ quiz contest, a carnival, youth activities, and a New Years’ ‘swing shift dance’ from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Backstory and Context
The building follows the military’s 800 Series Field House barrel roof design and included a gymnasium, an auditorium, a large social and recreation room, two smaller activity rooms, a projection room, a game and recreation terrace, offices, patios, and more.
In 1953 the building was sold to private ownership and reopened as a supermarket, a series of which included Roy’s, Alpha Beta, and Hometown Markets between 1953 and 1973.
The Tenant Activity Building’s main entrance was originally along the center of the south wall, facing Comstock Street, and featured a large enclosed courtyard. The courtyard and main entrance was removed in the early 1960s. (Look for an outcropping of the courtyard’s red concrete surface near the car wash.)
Skateworld moved in in 1975, remodeling then and again in 1983 and 1999. Clerestory windows around the main building were filled in or boarded over, probably in the 1983 remodel.